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The Wisdom of God Displayed in the Way of Salvation – Jonathan Edwards

“One end why God suffered Satan to do what he did in procuring the fall of man, was that his Son might be glorified in conquering that strong, subtle, and proud spirit, and triumphing over him. How glorious doth Christ Jesus appear in baffling and triumphing over this proud king of darkness, and all the haughty confederate rulers of hell. How glorious a sight is it to see the meek and patient Lamb of God leading that proud, malicious, and mighty enemy in triumph! What songs doth this cause in heaven! It was a glorious sight in Israel to see David carrying the head of Goliath in triumph to Jerusalem. It appeared glorious to the daughters of Israel, who came out with timbrels and with dances, and sang, ‘Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’ But how much more glorious to see the Son of David, the Son of God, carrying the head of the spiritual Goliath, the champion of the armies of hell, in triumph to the heavenly Jerusalem! It is with a principle view to this, that Christ is called, ‘The Lord of hosts, or armies, and a man of war,” Exod. xv.3.  And Psal. […]

Is Discrimination a Bad Word?

Well, is it?

There’s been a lot talk about Indiana as of late, which I’m sure you’ve heard about, unless of course you’re a hermit; which if that is the case, you probably aren’t reading this post.

Either way, let me ask the question again. Is discrimination a bad word?

It depends, doesn’t it?

Let’s say that I’m a photographer. And into my shop walks:

A) A heterosexual couple
B) A grandmother looking to marry her sixteen year old grandson
C) A brother and sister in their early twenties wanting to get married
D) Two men and a woman wanting to get married
E) A man and four women wanting to get married
F) An older gentlemen wanting to marry his dog
G) Two women wanting to get married
H) Two men wanting to get married

Which of these, and upon what basis, do you happily agree to shoot (with a camera!), utilizing all the skills in your repertoire to capture their joy with both professional quality and artistic flare?

If the photographer is a Christian, he or she may want to decline the job. Why? The Christian views marriage as a holy covenant and holy institution established by God. Not only is it limited by the Creator of the universe, being […]

The Quest for the Historical Adam – GenRef Podcast

It was our pleasure to sit down with Dr. William VanDoodewaard, author of the new work The Quest for the Historical Adam.

With the eye of a historian and the care of a theologian, Dr. VanDoodewaard has produced a book of considerable importance. He tackles the question of Adam and Eve head on, bringing to the discussion both scholarly insight and an even hand. The book cannot come more highly recommended.

Join us as we dip into the subject!

The Benefits and Joys of Christian Meditation

In a paper exploring The Puritan Practice of Meditation, Joel Beeke helpfully summarizes a number of biblical findings.  Let this be an encouragement and enticement to us all.

Meditation helps us focus on the Triune God, to love and to enjoy Him in all His persons (1 John 4:8)—intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically.
Meditation helps increase knowledge of sacred truth. It “takes the veil from the face of truth” (Prov. 4:2).
Meditation is the “nurse of wisdom,” for it promotes the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:8).
Meditation enlarges our faith by helping us to trust the God of promises in all our spiritual troubles and the God of providence in all our outward troubles.
Meditation augments one’s affections. Watson called meditation “the bellows of the affections.” He said, “Meditation hatcheth good affections, as the hen her young ones by sitting on them; we light affection at this fire of meditation” (Ps. 39:3).
Meditation fosters repentance and reformation of life (Ps. 119:59; Ez. 36:31).
Meditation is a great friend to memory.
Meditation helps us view worship as a discipline to be cultivated. It makes us prefer God’s house to our own.
Meditation transfuses Scripture through the texture of the soul.
Meditation is a great aid to prayer […]

A Question to Ponder

Acts 23:1-5 reads,

“And looking intently at the council, Paul said, ‘Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.’ And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, ‘God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?’ Those who stood by said, ‘Would you revile God’s high priest?’ And Paul said, ‘I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’””

Paul certainly deemed it inappropriate to speak to the high priest the way he did. But what if the exact same thing happened and it wasn’t the high priest who ordered Paul to be struck? Would Paul’s sharp words have been appropriate? In other words, did Paul speak sinfully here? Or could it be that there is a place for such imprecations today (or is the word imprecation too strong in this instance)? And if so, then how does this […]

Some Curious Admissions From Sam Harris

While hanging out with the guys over at Very Bad Wizards, an atheistic podcast that discusses morality, philosophy and culture, Sam Harris made some fascinating comments…shall I say concessions?

As one of the leading atheists of our day, Sam Harris isn’t shy about sharing his feelings about God. Not surprisingly, he spends a fair bit of time attacking the judgments of God, calling God a moral monster and the like. One need only listen to his debate with William Lane Craig on morality. Just go the 54 minute mark to get a taste.

Now what is fascinating to me is how, on the one hand, Sam Harris can decry the judgments of God with resolute certainty, but then turn around and express caveats and nuances that directly undermine those same condemnations.

What do I mean?

Let me provide a number of quotes from episode 63 of Very Bad Wizards to illustrate the matter. Each will serve as a kind of tent peg grounding an overall point.(1)

Tent Peg #1, It all Comes Down to Consequences

• 1:21:00ish, Tamler: “This is what makes me so suspicious. There is always some reason why the thing that is your intuition ends up working for the best consequences. […]

Sharing in the Sufferings of Christ

Of all the doctrines expounded on the Lord’s Day, our sharing in the sufferings of Christ is perhaps one of the most neglected topics. This isn’t to say that the subject of suffering isn’t discussed or preached. Quite the contrary. Suffering, generally considered, is given ample attention. Where there is sickness, there one will hear the subject of suffering discussed at great length. But how often does someone ask: What are the sufferings of Christ, and how do I share in them? Or when was the last time the following was overheard, “I’m sharing in the sufferings of Christ”? Someone might describe themselves as a child of Abraham, or a true Jew, or an ambassador of Christ, or talk about being Spirit filled, or even crucified with Christ, but how often does the biblical concept of “sharing in the sufferings of Christ” directly flavor the everyday speech of saints? It is rarely heard.

But for the apostle Paul, our union with Christ, and by extension, our sharing in His sufferings, greatly informed his outlook and expectations. He could scarcely write a letter without touching upon the subject of suffering, and at several key junctures, he spoke freely and pointedly about sharing […]

G.K. Chesterton Weekend Edition

“But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in which he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity, and then curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is a waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the higher philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble, and […]

Reflections on Genesis 3:15

“The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel’” (Gen 3:14-15).

Herein marks the announcement of God’s plan. A promise of defeat for Satan, a word of assurance to the angels, and a message of hope for fallen humanity. It is all contained here in kernel form.

The significance of this passage can scarcely be overstated. In one short statement the underlying theme and meaning of history is laid bare. Whatever one says about the history of mankind, therefore, whether they’re looking at the specks of some seemingly insignificant incident, or the grand movements of a mighty nation, if this overarching perspective is fundamentally absent from their thinking, the task of making sense of human experience, whether it be the past or the present or the future, will inevitably fail to reflect the deep currents of reality. As a result, […]

Audio Picks

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the 2015 Desiring God Conference for Pastors, do so. There was an excellent assortment of speakers and messages.

The topic was sin. They titled the conference: Where Sin Increased: The Rebellion of Man and the Abundance of Grace.

Here are a few that stood out to me:

“What is Sin? The Essence and Root of all Sinning,” by John Piper

“Make War: The Pastor and His People in the Battle Against Sin,” by John Piper

“O, That Day, When Freed From Sin,” by Sam Storms

You can find the rest of the messages here.